Disconnection Information for Single-Family Homes and Duplexes
A permit is required before disconnection work can begin. There are no fees for a Rainleader Disconnection permit. Download a Residential Permit Application (pdf).
The disconnection must be approved by the City. Be sure to schedule an inspection with the City after disconnection work is completed but before it is concealed. Call (612) 673-5899 to set up an inspection.
Below are some estimated costs for disconnection of typical roof drains for residential buildings. These estimated costs do not include the cost of any or all permits. These estimates are from Fall 2013.
Cost Estimate - Residential Downspout Connection
10 foot steel downspout
Front elbow or side elbow
10 pound bucket of quick setting cement
4 inch soil pipe gasket
4 inch cast iron blind plug
Actual labor time per disconnection: 45-60 minutes
Doing It Yourself
Download our easy-to-follow printer-friendly Disconnect Your Downspout guide:
How to Disconnect Your Downspout
- Cordless drill or screwdriver
- Tape measure
- Crimping tool
- Self-tapping metal screws
- Downspout elbow (available at most hardware stores)
- Downspout extension (available at most hardware stores) Note that downspouts come in several sizes—measure to be sure you get the correct size
Plus – Choose a cast-iron or cement plug
For a cast-iron plug:
- 8-pound sledge hammer
- Paint brush
- Small wood block
- Cast iron blind plug
- Rubber soil pipe gasket
- Gasket lubricant
For a cement plug:
- Bucket for mixing cement
- Mixing tool
- Fiberglass insulation
A Step-by-Step Primer on Disconnecting your Downspout
- Measure downspout(s) and standpipe(s).
- Gather required materials (see above)
- Measure approximately ten inches (10") from the top of the standpipe and saw off the existing downspout
- Determine the type of plug that will work for your standpipe
- Cast iron blind plugs can only be used on standpipes with a bell end
- Cement can be used on standpipes with or without a bell end
- Install the cast-iron plug or a cement plug
Installing a cast-iron blind plug
a. Most standpipes are 3"-5" in diameter. Measure to ensure getting the correct size.
b. Fit rubber gasket into the bell end of the standpipe.
c. Paint a thin layer of gasket lubricant on the exposed surface of the gasket and the outside of the cast-iron plug.
d. Place the plug inside the lip of the gasket. Use a wood block to protect the cast-iron from the impact of the hammer.
e. Use the 8-pound sledgehammer and one solid strike to force the plug into the gasket. Use care as cast iron may break with too much force.
Installing a cement plug
a. Compress a bundle of fiberglass insulation and force it into the standpipe (always wear protective gear when you work with fiberglass).
b. Firmly pack the insulation down inside the pipe (with a stick or tool) approximately six inches (6").
c. Mix the cement according the directions. Be sure to use protective gloves when working with cement.
d. Pour cement into the standpipe and form a smooth, crowned top.
e. Dispose of any remaining cement appropriately. DO NOT dump cement into gutters or storm drains.
- After plugging the standpipe, crimp the end of the downspout so that it will fit inside the elbow.
- Slide the elbow over the newly crimped end of the downspout.
- Use three self-tapping screws to hold the elbow in place.
- Crimp the exposed end of the elbow so that it fits inside the downspout extension.
- Place the downspout extension on the elbow, directing water away from the building. It should extend at least three feet (3') from the building foundation. Generally, water should be directed toward the front or the back of the property and not toward a neighboring building.
- Call City Rainleader Inspector to sign off on your work.
Hiring a Contractor to Disconnect your Downspout
- Contact the Rainleader Disconnect Program at (612) 673-5899 to schedule a site visit with a Rainleader Inspector. The site visit will allow us to determine the type of contractor needed to perform the required disconnection work.
- Hire a licensed contractor. How to find a licensed contractor.
- Ensure that the contractor obtains a rainleader disconnection permit from the City of Minneapolis.
- Have contractor redirect downspout and permanently seal standpipe with a cast-iron plug or cement.
- Do not make complete payment to the contractor until City Rainleader Inspector has signed off on the final inspection.
Last updated Jul. 22, 2013